Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Christmas and New Years Recap

Life has never seemed busier. Sometimes sending a two sentence email feels like a herculean effort, so finding time to sit down at the blog is a real luxury. But I love doing it because I never want to forget the joy in these chaotic, fun-filled days!

Christmas was fabulous. We had an early celebration with Ning and Papa before they left on vacation, celebrating with beef wellington, which was a meal we used to enjoy at the holidays with my mom. The kids piled every pillow they could find in front of the fire. My dad and Ning gave me a vintage short-sleeved jacket embroidered with hundreds of pearls -- breathtaking!

Then we welcomed Rob's mom, dad and sister for five festive days! We were so grateful to them for making the trip to Milwaukee and being so willing to sleep on the nearest couch. Sandie made an amazing Czech feast of pork and dumplings one night; another night we made Marion's (Rob's grandma, who was 100% Italian) authentic spaghetti sauce. It's wonderful how many traditions and memories revolve around meals.

On Christmas Eve, we took Madeline and Charlie to a Christmas pageant at the Episcopal Church where Charlie goes to preschool (John stayed back with Sandie and Tom). Poor sweet Madeline had a high fever, so we snuck out of the service after communion, had a special dinner and let the kids all open one gift before bed (Aunt Nicki hit the jackpot with Spiderman roller skates for Charlie!). But before we tucked them in, we opened letters that came from the North Pole written by Santa Claus himself. He knew that Madeline wanted clothes for her American Girl Doll and that Charlie wanted firefighter gear! Included in each envelope was special glittering reindeer food that would sparkle as the sleigh flew over our house, helping Santa and his crew find their way to our chimney. Madeline got a burst of energy despite her 103 fever and ran outside to sprinkle the food on our lawn.
Stockings were hung....
After the children were nestled all snug in their beds, the adults got into our pajamas and exchanged gifts. What fun! Rob really surprised me this year with a beautiful SLR camera and a sewing machine! I gave him a reciprocating saw (what's Christmas without a power tool under the tree?) and a chance to ride shotgun in a real NASCAR stock car around the Milwaukee's Mile racetrack. The Vlachs gave us a three day trip to the Wisconsin Dells over Easter -- we're so excited! We readied the living room for the kids to come down in the morning, happily staying up until midnight putting together toys and nibbling on Santa's cookies. I ripped apart a velour stocking, rubbed it in soot, and stuck it in the fireplace to look like Santa tore his suit, just exactly like my mom did one year when I was growing up!
Notes from Santa and Tinsel, our elf
The excitement the next morning was incredible. Sandie had sewed Madeline and McKenna, her American Girl Doll, two matching outfits! Charlie basically hasn't taken his firefighter gear off since Christmas morning. And every time we handed John a gift he would say, "Wowwwwww!"
We rang in the new year a few days later with a last minute, super fun pizza party with a small group of friends. We let the kids bang pots, stay up "late," and we were in our pajamas by 8:30pm. A perfect ending to an amazing year!
Madeline was so excited about her new booster seat!
Our little elf
Santa piled presents inside a fun tent!
Virginia, Yours Truly, Jamie, Emily and Nikki. NYE!

1 comment:

The Brown Family said...

It sounds magical! I love the recap and all the fun pictures!